Without offering a complete timeline of his communication with Snowden or when he first received the PowerPoint documentation, Gellman relates that a “series of indirect contacts preceded our first direct exchange May 16.”
In an interview with Salon published last Monday, documentary filmmaker Laura Poitras stated that she believes Snowden had been in touch with the Post’s Gellman since February. Poitras has been working with Snowden since January and has been filming his months-long drive to release the information.
Gellman wrote that two weeks before the release of his June 6 story on PRISM , Snowden had asked for a guarantee the newspaper would publish within 72 hours the full text of the PowerPoint presentation.
He said the Post only published the story after first vetting Snowden’s slide presentation with “government officials.”
Questions remain about when Gellman first contacted “government officials” regarding the PowerPoint presentation, as well as who those officials are and the extent to which the officials were briefed about the source of the PRISM information.
Clearly, however, unnamed government officials knew beforehand about the pending leak on the NSA surveillance program, according to Gellman’s account.